The variable scope of the exclusive economic rights in copyright. Exploring the articulation of law and technology through the case of Web search engines.

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


In this PhD dissertation, it is examined how the scope of protection of the economic rights in copyright has evolved. The relation between copyright and technological evolutions is explored, through the case of Web search engines.
In the first part, the technology of Web search engines is described.
In the second part, court decisions on Web search engines in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany are discussed.
In the third part, a legal and historical analysis of the rights of reproduction and communication to the public is conducted (starting from the 1886 Berne Convention to the 2001 Information Society Directive). A number of critical points in the scope and the method of (simultaneous) application of these rights is identified.
Finally, in the fourth part, a solution for these critical points is suggested.
Date of Award7 Jul 2011
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorFabienne Brison (Promotor), Serge Gutwirth (Co-promotor), Paul De Hert (Jury), Koen Lemmens (Jury), Michel Flamee (Jury), Marie-Christine Janssens (Jury), Alain Strowel (Jury) & Hendrik Vanhees (Jury)


  • copyright
  • economic rights
  • technology
  • World Wide Web
  • Search engine
  • Intellectuel Property Rights

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